Self-Climbing Platform

Structural Designer

Nuvia Ltd

Client Name

Sellafield Ltd


Cumbria, UK

Nuvia ltd

Nuvia ltd

Delta International sub contractors - Steeple jacks and SCP operators
Sanderson Watts - â€‹Consultants
Alimak - HEK site access specialists
Vinci Technologies - Friction material research and development


The self-climbing platform provides a stable base for demolition and utilises existing commercial technology. Friction alone supports the platform during use. It was successfully employed for a Sellafield nuclear stack retirement project.    

Judge's comment:

The platform was designed to demolish a 61m high stack that was positioned on top of the first-generation Magnox reprocessing plant building on the Sellafield Ltd site. The stack, built in the early 1950s, was seen as presenting an unacceptable risk to the building below and others in the vicinity. Its concrete surface was considered too fragile to fix into with any conventional platform.

The self-climbing platform, developed from a solution used at Battersea, gently grips the stack (thus avoiding damage) and climbs it like a slow-motion monkey. It incorporates three levels of platform (and a roof only when descending).

Material could not be allowed to fall from the platform, either inside or outside the stack. The gap between the work surfaces and the stack had to be closed at all times to avoid the risk of falling objects. The judges were particularly impressed at how this was achieved with clever but simple sectional circular work-surfaces that adjusted to the changing diameter of the tapering stack.

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